Senators criticized Tuesday the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) for designating the bulk of its proposed P1.59-billion budget to salaries of its officials and personnel.
During the Senate deliberations on the PCOO’s 20221 proposed budget, Senator Richard Gordon noted that the agency has “a lot” of undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, and general managers.
“Ako may criticism ako, wag kayong magagalit, ang dami niyong undersecretaries. Ang dami niyong assistant secretaries. And dami nyong general managers. Ako, (in the Philippine Red Cross) I minimize expenses, I get the people that I really need. In fact, sa Red Cross and nagpapatakbo niyan apat o limang tao e,” Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, said.
(I have a criticism, don’t get mad. You have a lot of undersecretaries. You have many assistant secretaries. And you also gave plenty of general managers. I minimize expenses in the Philippine Red Cross. I get the people that I really need. In fact, at the Red Cross, I think there are only four to five people who are really running it.)
“You really have to choose where you want to fight, you cannot spread all your money in so many things,” he added.
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Bulk of PCOO budget allocated to salaries
Meanwhile, Senator Imee Marcos also pointed out that some P1.4 billion of the P1.59-billion proposed budget of the PCOO was allocated for personal services and the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE).
“Yung budget ninyo [P1.59 billion] lang, so mga P100 million na lang ata yung natira parang ganon…kaya nga ako nagtataka, kasi puro sahod at saka MOOE. We are asking you to focus on engineering sana tutok tayo sa engineering,” Marcos said.
(Your budget is only P1.59 billion, so only about P100 million is left for equipment. That’s why I’m wondering. We are prioritizing salaries and MOOE. We are asking you to focus on engineering. I wish we are more focused on the engineering aspect.)
“Isantabi muna yung development academy, yung development communication, yung mga kung anu-ano. Tutok muna tayo sa pamimili ng equipment. E kaso mukhang tutok tayo sa sahod,” she added.
(Set aside the development academy, the development communication. Focus on the procurement of equipment. But it looks like we are more focused on the salaries.)